US Denies Planning to Participate in Next Afghan Escalation

NATO Chief's Comments Presumed US Contribution

Following up on yesterday’s news that Gen. David Petraeus is seeking an additional 2,000 troops for the war in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials today insisted that the United States currently has no plans to contribute to this latest escalation.

We would look for NATO to first fill that requirement,” insisted Col. David Lapan, Pentagon spokesman. The fact that the “NATO commander in Afghanistan” who requested this is a US general and a recent US appointee to the position, however, suggests there may be some wiggle room if such support isn’t in the offing.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen previously said it was unclear how many troops will be from which countries, but said he expected the commitment to come from a broad array of nations. With war-exhaustion on the rise across Europe, however, it seems that many nations will be reluctant to throw more troops at the war.

Which is where the US would likely come in. In the past the US has pressed for NATO to commit troops first and then, when that number ends up lower than they expect they will in the rest with US forces.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.